After a six day lead up, UbiSoft announced that Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate will be officially bringing the franchise to London. Confirming many leaked reports, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate will take place during 19th century Victorian era London and will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC on October 23.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate seems to be walking the series back to what made some of the early entries special. Gone are the multiplayer co-operative modes that Unity touted and replaced by a focus on the story driven campaign. Building up protagonist Jacob Frye’s gang, The Rooks, seems to be playing a major role, a subsystem that had seen a decreasing role since AC: Revelations. I personally loved the building of the brotherhood up in Ezio’s story and its absence was missed, even in the stellar Black Flag. One of my favorite things to do in combat was to call on my recruits to take out enemies at a distance. Assassin’s Creed III had a little bit of this, but the characters had specific skillsets and there were only several specific instances where calling them was needed.
Jacob will also be receiving a grappling hook, which really speeds up the vertical traversal and is very much a natural progression of how scaling buildings has evolved throughout the series. If Revalations added the hookblades and Black Flag added the rope dart, a grappling hook for climbing and combat is the right way to progress. Think Just Cause, but less explosions.
Syndicate also promises a better stealth system and the return of the whistle, another franchise mainstay that was missing from Unity. Day and night cycles will also return, after their absence from Unity, fights can occur on moving carriages and the female adversaries are making their franchise debut.
While I still hope that one day UbiSoft will bring back their competitive multiplayer, Syndicate appears to be well on its way to being something worthwhile. They chose a solid era, with some spectacular art design and visuals and have redacted much of what troubled Unity. I’m wondering what else they will cram into such a rich period beyond Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin…you have to assume that Jack the Ripper will make an appearance.